help with crushed coral
okay so i have an established 55g tank and my ph is way to low. my tap is low to begin with but my driftwood is keeping it at a steady ph of 6.2ish i plan on adding another cichlid or two but before that id like to raise my ph sooo how much crushed coral should i add to start cuz i obviously dont want the ph to raise too rapidly. id also like to clarify id much rather add it to my substrate i could use some extra substrate and for athsetics in general
Most who have been in the hobby a while will tell you it is much easier to keep soft water fish with the pH you have rather than trying to adjust the water to suit the fish.
If you wish to keep South American cichlids such as Blue Acara,Firemouth,Convicts, or many of the Dwarf cichlids,, Then I would leave the water alone other than to perform weekly water changes.
African cichlids require Hard Alkaline water and will not fair well in soft acidic water so should it be African's you are speaking of, I would set up a tank with substrate such as the Cichlid Substrates on the market that produce the hard alkaline water that Africans require.
would it negate the effects of the driftwood on my ph at least? my water really is more like 6 i also cant use buffer cuz of plants
I might want a second opinion on pH levels especially if strip style test is being used. I would test the pH with test kit such as API Freshwater Master kit that uses drops of liquid and test type tubes. This kit is far more accurate and could be your pH is not as low as you might think.
It takes quite a bit of driftwood to affect the pH because with each weekly water change,you will be adding water with usually a pH level a bit higher than that which is measured in the tank.The breakdown of organics in the aquarium over time ,does tend to cause acidic conditions and pH will lower but with regular water changes assuming the tapwater has more buffering capabilities,,this is seldom a need for worry.
In any event,the crushed coral added to the filter should increase the hardness a bit and prevent the pH from falling further while not causing too much stress for the fish. Would begin with 1/4 cup per 20 gallons and wait a couple three days before adding more if needed.
I would suggest that before you start fiddling with adjusting pH you find out the hardness as they are related. Also, no mention has been made of what fish you have/want in the tank. "Cichlids" other than rift lake Africans will do very well in soft acidic water; you mention plants so I am assuming you do not have Africans.
You also don't tell us if the pH of 6.2 is resulting solely in the tank, or if your source water is similar; this makes a big difference, esp if you intend adjusting it.
What is the hardness and pH of your source water (presumably tap water)? And what fish are in the tank?
I agree with Byron ,I went back through original poster's threads and mentioned to him/her in my previous post's that for the fish mentioned in previous thread's ,that the water would be suited for them as is, and that I would not mess with it.
My concern with pH posted was/is related to biological filter and the ability of bacteria to develop below a pH of 6.0 in sufficient numbers to address waste created by the fishes.I am doubtful that the pH posted would lend itself to much in the way of buffering capacity but will happily admit I was/am wrong should it prove otherwise.I also attempted to suggest that African cichlids would best be suited for hard alkaline water and that I would set up a tank for them with appropriate substrate rather than attempt to please both within the aquarium being discussed.
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